Two major types of IEP errors are most common, procedural and substantive. Procedural obligations compel school personnel to follow the specific requirements of the law when developing an IEP. The substantive obligations of IDEA require IEP teams to develop and implement a plan that is designed to provide educational benefit for the student.
Below are examples of procedural violations:
- Failure to give notice of rights, planned meetings through prior written notice.
- Failure to adhere to state-mandated timelines.
- Failure to allow the parents to meaningfully participate in the IEP development process & educational decision making.
- Failure to conduct & complete individualized evaluations.
- Failure to ensure that all the necessary team members attend IEP meetings.
- Failure to devise an appropriate IEP based on the child’s individual needs.
- Failure to implement the IEP as written.
- Failure to provide education and services in the least restrictive environment, based on that child’s individual needs.
- Failure to maintain proper records.
- Failure to train staff and aides in the child’s areas of disability.
- Failure to train parents in the child’s areas of disability.
- Predetermining placement and services before the case conference committee meeting.
- Failure to provide records within 45 days when requested by parents.
- Failure to offer extended school year services to the child, resulting in regression of skills during the summer vacation that cannot be recouped quickly.
- Failure to allow the special needs child to participate in extracurricular activities to the same extent as his non-disabled peers when the child could participate with accommodations provided by the school.
- Failure of the school to prevent punishment of the child for actions or inactions that are manifestations of the child’s disability (caused by the child’s disability).
- Failure by the school to notice that the child was one in need of special education or services, despite evidence that the child was struggling academically or behaviorally.
Below are examples of substantive violations:
- Failure to assess the student’s academic and functional needs.
- Failure to develop annual goals based on student needs.
- Failure to write goals that are complete, appropriate, and measurable.
- Failure to provide special education and related services that are effective and based on peer-reviewed research.
- Failure monitor the student’s progress toward his or her goals and make instructional changes when necessary.